Dream

Since I’ve come home, I’ve been having intensely vivid dreams every night. I’m prone to these dreams anyway, but I don’t usually have them so frequently or regularly, and they’re really getting old. I wake up completely disoriented and more tired than one should be after solid sleep. And sometimes they really screw with my head.

One of the more common ones I’ve been having involve time. I dream that I’ve woken up too early and tell myself to go back to sleep, or I dream that I wake up and start my day – and it’s so real that I don’t realize it’s a dream. It’s just not comfortable.

My mother made an off-handed comment that finally made these make sense: “You must be worried about time.”

Well, that’s a duh. I’m going to Seattle on Friday, have grad school applications to prep, letters to write, jobs to find, and it basically all revolves around time. Or perhaps a perceived lack thereof. The job stuff especially, because I feel like it has to be handled so delicately.

(I’m going to Seattle for the 2012 Chefs Collaborative Sustainable Food Summit. Ruth Reichl is the keynote speaker. Amazing chefs will be there. I’m running registration. It’s gonna be awesome. Follow me & the Collab on twitter – we’ll be doing lots of live tweeting! #natlsum12)

Oh yeah, and I’ve decided grad school is happening. More to be discussed about that later.

I think one of the greatest obstacles I’ve had to acknowledge and deal with is the two very contradictory messages I’ve been getting about careers.

On the one hand, people tell me “you’re young with your whole life ahead of you – stop worrying about finding the right job and just focus on getting one!”. And then there is this whole other camp – the YOLOs – preaching the whole “life is short, live your dream, don’t settle, <insert inspirational cliche here>.” Basically, pick something because you can always change your mind…but remember what you do now defines what you will do for the rest of your life, so don’t make the wrong decision. Live in the moment…oh, but remember that the next moment will be an aftereffect of this one so try not to screw it up. Keep calm & carry on…but if you don’t focus on what you want right now you’ll really regret it later.

It’s taken me a while to articulate that, but those two forces are pretty strong in our culture, and I’ve been getting two earfuls of both of them. And the funny thing is, neither camp seems to be aware of the other. Yet combined, they’ve left me feeling confused, disoriented, and really really really overwhelmed.

After a year of interning and doing everything from grant-writing to chive-chopping, I hoped I would have a clearer idea of a career goal or at the very least, a clearer idea of what I want to do next. And other than the conclusion that it’s time to go to grad school, I feel less clear than ever about what I want to do, in no small part because I’m overwhelmed with options. (In fact I recently bought this book at a commenter’s recommendation; I haven’t gotten far enough into yet but I’m hoping it helps, even if only a little – I’m sure I will review it soon!)

I have so many interests and ideas and passions (although I’m getting sick to death of using that word), and that makes me feel a little bit like a phony. Like I can’t be fully committed to one thing when I love another just or almost as much. I guess it’s especially hard for me to accept this, because I so strongly prefer to focus on one thing at a time – that said, this is coming from someone who apparently can’t help but hold at least 2 jobs at once (and usually more like 4), and those jobs themselves involve simultaneously balancing different projects. But when I write cover letters to all these different organizations and companies for so many different positions, I feel like they will just look at me and think, what a liar. She’s totally more interested in doing something else.  I know I would excel at any of the jobs I apply to, because I’m an overachieving perfectionist with a pathological need to please others before myself. I just feel like I’m running out of different ways of trying to communicate that. [Seriously, people. You have no idea what you’re missing by not hiring me.]

I was really hoping that this year would excite and energize me, make me look forward to all the options ahead, help me find a dream. But it didn’t. I’m exhausted, and the only dreams I have are screwy and disorienting. I do not regret what I’ve done this year for a second; I know I needed to a) not be in school for the first time in 20 years and b) see what the professional world is like and get some actual experience in it. It just didn’t result in what I hoped it would. [Yeah yeah, welcome to life, blah blah blah.]

I don’t know which side is right. Maybe neither. Maybe both. I can’t be the only person feeling the pressure of both. I will figure this out on my own, in my own time, for no other reason than because I have to. This post has no other point than to say “guys. this is dumb.” So thanks for listening.

And at least now that I’ve figured it out, maybe the dreams will stop. Or, you know, I just cleared up brain space for my dreams to focus on my irrational fear of rejection. Super.


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It’s Complicated

Or, Why I’m Not In Napa Right Now.

I graduated one year ago from Converse College with a BA in English and a plan to enroll in the Baking & Pastry degree program at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California.

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That’s the one.

After a major health crisis the fall of my junior year and a semester abroad in Florence, Italy the following spring, I got fed up with not listening to what I really wanted instead of what I thought I should do and embraced my inner food nerd. I took some classes, I read a lot of books, and allowed myself to proclaim my love for baking loud and proud. I visited the CIA’s NY campus, then their Greystone campus in Napa, and I was hooked.

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There are a lot of reasons why culinary school/baking felt right for me. First of all, I was dying to be surrounded by people who love food as much as I do. I was absolutely desperate to learn more about classical baking techniques – especially yeast breads. One of my many dream jobs is to own a bakery – preferably somewhere in Italy, in a little shop with an apartment over it that I can live in (think Chocolat.). The craft itself fits my personality – it’s all about measuring and numbers and getting everything exactly right. The hours were very attractive; I’d much prefer to have a work day that goes from 2 AM to 10 and have the whole day to take naps in the sun. [I’m dead serious. I love working in the middle of the night. Most of my best writing happens then.] Even the way the class schedules worked was right; the CIA has a block schedule where you take one class at a time for an intensive 4-6 weeks every day. That is precisely how I prefer to learn; I can multitask, but I absolutely hate it, and the thought of being able to focus all my attention on one subject was quite relieving. [<—Introverts. ‘S how we roll.]

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And to top it all off, it was in St. Helena, where my idol M.F.K. Fisher spent many years of her life. [Wrote my senior thesis on her book How to Cook a Wolf, memorized her entire life story, generally worship her every word.]

If all had gone to plan, I would be standing in a school kitchen with my whites and non-slip shoes, hanging on every word out of my chef-professor’s mouth right this very second.

Obviously, something changed.

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First there was my  restaurant, ahem, experience, otherwise known as Gillian Learns How to Quit a Job. Then there was another food prep internship – I pretty much hated that one, too. What I realized was that for all that I love spending hours in the kitchen trying new recipes and learning new things, that was only a part of who I am. A very wise boss/friend who had a similar experience said it best: my relationship with food is so much more complex than just its preparation. My real passion for food comes from my awe of its “basic-ness;” that something so essential to our lives can have so much embedded meaning and history is, I think, incredibly exciting.

And it is for that reason why I fell so happily into place in the sustainable food movement. It is about so much more than just “eating local.” It’s about knowing the person who pulled your carrots out of the ground, who fed the cow that produced your milk, who collected the eggs that go into your quiche. It’s about respecting your self, and respecting the food that gives your health and energy every day. It’s about discovering the narrative running under every meal and every bite. With food comes stories, and there’s always a new one to tell. That is what I love. And that’s why working towards a safe, fair and sustainable food system makes me so happy.

Yes, there are graduate programs where I can study the subject in the traditional way, but I’m not ready to go back to that life. Not yet. It is not out of the question, but in all honesty, just the thought of returning to those days of essay writing and endless readings  and exam-cramming exhausts me. Sure, I’m good at the academic stuff, but if this – I’m sorry, I have to say it – journey has taught me nothing else, it’s the importance of focusing on what I want, not what I “should” do. At some point, I may decide that a graduate program will get me where I want to go. But right now, I think I’ve found myself where I want to be.

And with that said, I think I’ll go search for a new cookie recipe to try this weekend. Because some things never change.

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Degreed.

People are going to tell you who you are your whole life. You’ve just got to punch back and say, ‘No, this is who I am.’

Emma, Once Upon A Time

I’ve decided to start each new post with a quote. And I don’t particularly care if they seem cliched or dumb or overdramatic and teen-angsty. It’s my blog and I quote whoever I want to. So there.

I recently realized that I kinda graduated from college without actually talking about it, specifically at least. I mentioned it here and there, but you’d think it would get a little more coverage than that.

That, ironically, is part of my point: why isn’t it a bigger deal? You move somewhere for 4 years with the express purpose of writing and presenting and learning your intellectual ass off, and then they hand you a piece of paper and a pat on the head and it’s just done? I’m sorry, I take serious issue with this.

My last week at Converse was pretty crazy. There was literally a different dinner to attend every night. I was in 3 honor societies, and the college has 2 dinners for seniors.  And then family comes in. Add a final test and a paper or two and you’re booked solid.

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It was actually a pretty fun week. I had one test to take (not a final, just a third test) in my favorite class, and a portfolio to wrap up for my non-fiction creative writing course, but for the most part it was my roommates and I trying to finish the 3rd season of Alias and slowly pack up our apartment into the boxes we had just unpacked three months before. There was a dinner for our version of the Phi Beta Kappa society, then a bbq at the President’s house and finally a Candlelight dinner at a country club with champagne, rubbery chicken and hairspray in the bathrooms – probably the most “Southern” experience of my three and a half years down there.

Fun. Perhaps even distracting, and that was probably the point. Let’s ignore that fact that the lives we’ve known for the past 4 years are about to go through a dramatic shift and go get some free drinks. It worked.

And then it was Saturday morning of May 14th, 2011. Hair was straightened, gowns were donned, and whining commenced about how terribly ugly those damn caps are. Seriously, who designed those and was like, YES. This is what all graduates everywhere for eternity will put on their heads. Because it doesn’t get any more celebratory than a square piece of styrofoam covered with cloth and a tassle that will always find its way back into your cornea.

As my grandmother would say, “a damn man must have invented this.”

So you walk onto a stage, shake the President’s hand, maybe even get some fancy award for committing yourself to spending quality time with your textbooks and word processor on most weekends. I, for one, got a shiny silver tray as my college’s version of valedictorian (we don’t call it that, but for all intents & purposes, that’s what it is). Actually, the award is in the name of my major advisor’s father, who was former Dean of the college, and it meant a lot to me to receive it.

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^^My major advisor and me. I took every single one of his classes that I could. His Major British Writers I survey is the reason I was an English major. Case in point: I actually enjoyed Beowulf in his class. That should speak for itself.

It kind of pisses me off that you spend a legitimate chunk of your young life working towards one thing, and you get to make a big deal out of it for, um, one day. I feel like I woke up the next day and someone shook my hand and said, “Good job, you just spent several tens of thousands of dollars and four years working for a piece of paper. Now shut up and get a real life.” I’m not really sure what else I expected, but it was more than this. And I’m not one to have high expectations.

I know that I feel this way because of the choices I made. I know that my plan was not to go to graduate school, but to work – and yes, for no pay was part of the plan – and wait half a year before continuing to the next step. What I did not know was how much it would screw with my psychological equilibrium. [<—Big words = another fabulously useless yield from said four years.]

I’m sure there are others out there in a similar situation. It’s probably statistically impossible to be otherwise. But I don’t know any of those people. My friends are all living independently and even if they don’t know what the hell they’re doing, they are paying rents and making friends and taking steps toward a future they want. I am at home, as dependent as it gets, with 3 unpaid jobs and the only thing that gets me through the week is my favorite TV show and the dog.

Look, I’m a realistic person. I didn’t expect it to be easy or fun in the least. But I didn’t think it was going to completely overhaul my entire psyche either. I’m not really reaching out for advice, or even sympathy. I am trying to articulate my very vague and confusing thoughts so I can work through them and come to some sort of definitive conclusion.

What prompted this particular post is that I know exactly what I’m feeling, and it’s not good. I have no energy to do work, and no interest in things I usually enjoy. I’m going through the motions, and I hate that.

But at the end of the day, I know if I went back, nothing would change. I still think everything happens for a reason. Though let me tell you, there better be a damn good reason for pushing myself through this. Damn good.

And as it happens, I think I have come to some sort of conclusion. I have to stop trying to figure out what I should do and just pick something, without worrying about how others will judge me for it.

But this post is long enough as it is. I’ll leave you to your Monday.

Tuesday Ramblings

Hi. My name is Gillian and I am a compulsive theme-changer.

 

I don’t love the side bar gray background/blue link look, but I am a fan of the overall cleanliness and this theme has a lot more flexibility than the last. Comments? Suggestions? Concerns that every time you click on this blog it will look different? Well, don’t worry too much about that.

I apologize for the lack of post today – I now work a six and half hour shift at the Kitchen twice a week, and came home today to a big plate of sweet potato gnocchi and my next internship, recipe categorizing for the completely fabulous food52. I like keeping busy. And come on…Recipe. Categorizing. If I got paid and could do it sitting in my own apartment with a brownie and a glass of wine, I would never need anything else.

Food52, by the way, is a very awesome site to know about. It is at its essence a recipe exchange website for home cooks, and let me tell you, from what I’ve seen so far you WANT to try some of these recipes. They are tried and true by real humans whose lives don’t necessarily revolve around food. Who are these people, you ask? I’m not really sure. I’ve heard they have things like real jobs and kids and conference calls. I much prefer to stay in my foodie bubble. There are cookies there.

ALSO, I am now on Twitter! It has become rather apparent to me that to be extra competitive in the unpaid internship market, it would greatly behoove me to act like a normal 21-year-old and learn all the fancy new social media things the interwebs are constantly coming up with. Especially when I use words like “behoove.” I’m not eighty-two, I swear.

So please follow me or at least tweet a hello! I need practice.

I’m also starting to have pre-quarter-life-crisis #476 and stuck yet again between culinary school and graduate school for gastronomy. If you have any kind of experience or gut instinct about these kinds of things, please feel free to express an opinion. And no, telling me to stop thinking about it does not count. That is simply not possible. I’m quite sure if I make myself stop thinking about it, it will only lead to nightmares involving chef’s knives, heavy anthropology books, and very hot ovens. No thank you.

It’s almost Hump Day!

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Coming Clean

If any of you just thought of Hilary Duff, please take a moment to slap yourself. I had to do the same. I’ll wait.

I realize it has been a while since I’ve updated. There is a reason. Several, actually, but it’s time to come back. I’m gonna lay it all down for you.

May

  • Graduate from college.
  • Say goodbye to your best friends in the whole world.
  • Wonder when you will actually see them again in person and not just through a series of new Facebook photos.
  • Move to a new state.
  • Start a new unpaid job that involves shaving chives. Hate every second of it.

June

  • Visit home.
  • Have graduation party where you explain your current life plan to people you haven’t seen in at least a year.
  • Explain that no, you are not currently getting paid to chop vegetables badly.
  • Eat too much cake.
  • Fly back to current state of residence.
  • Continue to shave chives. Badly.
  • QUIT first job for the first time. Have overachiever meltdown.
  • Laptop crashes 13 times in 24 hours. External hard drive refuses to turn on. Internet stops working on my netbook. Start to panic.
  • Find Italian graduate school. Completely overhaul life plan. Panic.

July

  • Stop sleeping for longer than 3 hours a night.
  • Drive 910 miles home, moving to another state. Again.
  • Put down my first dog after 11 years. Learn what grief actually is. Fall into complete depression.
  • Discover that application to Italian school involves paper chase of Olympic proportions.
  • Life plan proceeds to fall into black hole.
  • Die a little.
  • Revive. A little.
And that’s been my summer. I swear, the next time someone looks at me and says “come on, what’s the worst that can happen in 3 months?”, I’ll slap them. I think I’ve lost and gained the same 5 pounds 5 times, and have had about as many emotional breakdowns. Losing my dog kind of put the rotten cherry on top of it all; I’ve really never dealt with death before.
Sure, there have been family members I’ve heard about that I met once or twice a decade or two ago, but I grew up in a completely different part of the country from all of my extended family and while I’ve watched tragedy happen and seen how others have dealt with it, I was never really involved. And I know that some people would scoff at the idea of grieving over a dog, but she was a member of my family, and for someone whose family has only ever been the people living in this house, it was devastating. Like someone had suddenly gouged a huge hole in my life and left me to deal with it alone. That pain was like nothing I’d ever quite felt before, and I’ve been through a lot of bad stuff.
And then the utter farce that is dealing with the Italian Consulate happened. I am going to give that one a little more time because I know in a few months I will be able to laugh hysterically at it but right now, it’s just another bullet point on the $hitlist.
I know I haven’t been doing much food blogging recently. Amongst all the other crises, I’ve had a bit of a blogger identity crisis – I really don’t know where I fit in the food blog world! But I would very much like to fit, so I’ll certainly keep tapping away until I find my niche.
Anyway, I felt like I needed to just do one big post about what all has been going on in my life recently, if nothing else just to be able for me to see it all in black and white and deal with it better. I’ve been getting a lot of pressure from a lot of people to do a lot of different things and being the extreme introvert that I am, I’ve just been letting it all build up inside and writing seems to help me.
I do have a ton of pictures from various recent adventures (First visit to Charleston? Food exhibit in DC? Say WHAT?) that my crashed laptop prevented me from posting, but I think the problem is going to be fixed soon. I’ve started applying to a couple different kinds of jobs/internships and have my feet in about 5 different pools, and I’ve also started to actively search for our second dog. Because I miss my dog, and I always will, but that seems to be separate from how much I miss just having a dog, and I feel that if I can eliminate one of those pains, dealing with the other will be just a little easier.
Now I’m just rambling.
So now that I have written a small novel about the complicated life of a very confused college graduate as of 3 measly months…I will move on to more food-related topics. But if there are any recent college grads out there who are feeling very confused about what just happened–or really, anyone who is just feeling sad and confused and have no idea where to go or what to do next–that perhaps stumble upon this, I hope it makes them feel less alone. And may I recommend yoga. It can really help to just go somewhere where the only thing you have to focus in is taking the next breath.
More on the internship from hell, the magic Italian school and adventures in food to come. And, like, tomorrow. Not two months from now. Really.

G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S

Thursday: Computer crashed 11 times. Worked out frustration with cardio kick-boxing. Got frozen yogurt.

Friday: Computer crashed twice. Gave up. Thanked study abroad/my father for getting me a netbook 2 Christmases ago. Sent hate vibes to failed computer.

Saturday: Woke up at 4 AM.  Cleaned up dog vomit. Remembered how intense and creepy The Dark Knight is. Got more frozen yogurt.

Sunday: Woken up at 5, 6, and 11:30. Got a Frappuccino. Read about genetically engineered food. Made a smoothie.

The life of a college graduate in a word?

Glamorous.

What I Learned Last Week

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1. Sometimes, it is okay to quit (if not, perhaps, necessary).

2. Exercise is fun. And gross. Endorphins are funner.

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3. It is possible to experience the whole of the emotional spectrum in a very short period of time. A week, even.

4. On that note, I was so jittery with nerves that I’m pretty sure I now know what crack must be like. I don’t recommend it.

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5. You really can’t go back in time. I knew that before, but if I couldn’t do it this week after all the wishing/hoping/thinking/praying I did…then it really must be impossible.

6. It is also possible to be homesick at the age of 21 when you really have no reason to be.

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7. A handful of chocolate chips can solve a lot of problems.

8. The cliché can come true: you can want something so bad, it actually hurts.

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What A Drag

I do believe that for every door that closes, another opens. But these hallways are really a drag.        -The magnet on my aunt’s refrigerator

That about sums up my life at the moment. This whole transition from college – 4 straight years of a steady schedule, living with my best friends, generally having a good time – to the unemployed, schedule/purpose-less state of new college graduate…sucks. Like, a lot.

I am living with my wonderful aunt and uncle for the summer in suburban Georgia, working (interning, I suppose) at a restaurant just down the road from them. I’ve applied to the CIA (Culinary Institute of America), but my application won’t be complete until I have six months of twelve to fifteen hours per week of food preparation experience. Sounds easy,  right? Well let me tell, going from the graduate with the highest GPA in the graduating class to the inexperienced girl in the corner who can’t figure out how to chop chives small enough is anything but easy.

The past two weeks have been exhausting, physically, mentally, emotionally. Hell, this whole month has been pretty intense. And of course, what that means is that while I have been writing books in my head, very few of those words have been physically put down in writing. Which is really just bad all around, because writing helps me sort out all my crazy tangled thoughts, and occasionally can be found to be rather entertaining.

But, perhaps luckily for you dear reader, I did not write when I really needed to, when I had a complete breakdown. It was inevitable, and of course, my mother was predicted down to the day when I would crash. For about 3 days, I was an absolute mess. I hated feeling like the idiot in the kitchen (and it does not help that it’s all guys back there, either), I hated the work, I hated the people, and was beginning to believe that I had made the wrong decision. Culinary school could not possibly be the fate of the lefty who took 30 minutes to peel and devein shrimp.

I’m not entirely sure when the slap in the head came. Maybe it was when I memorized the restaurant’s recipe for key lime pie (more on that later), or made one of the sous chefs laugh. Maybe it was when I made a vegan marble cake on a whim, or spent 2 hours in Barnes and Noble staring at the cookbook section. Maybe it was when I reread the CIA’s admissions material and got excited all over again to learn everything I possibly can about baking and pastry. But maybe, it doesn’t matter.

I do know what I’m doing. I love food. So much, it’s slightly ridiculous. To me, there is nothing better than the taste and smell of fresh bread, and the smile that goes with that first bite.

And, I love that I’m going to learn all of it on the other side of the country. I so desperately need another adventure since studying abroad, a change of pace, a new place to call home. I need a little culture shock. And, you know, being right in the heart of wine country ain’t so shabby either.

I promise, I’m back for good this time. With recipes. And pictures. In fact, my brother’s and my graduation party (him from high school, me from college) is this Sunday, and we have a pretty fabulous menu planned. Homemade olive tapenade, anyone?

And if you don’t like that, you KNOW there will be cake. Really, really good cake. With that white fluffy frosting that I could just bathe in.

Yes. A frosting bath is definitely in order.

Reflecting.

No, I am not belting out the Christina Aguilera song from Mulan.
If you read this entire post, you may end up thinking “well, someone’s PMSing!” or “oh gawd, another one of those English majors who has to turn every moment of life into a poem.” That is your right, if you so wish. Freedom of thought is a beautiful thing.
But so is the freedom that comes with writing. And that is what I intend to do for my weekly blog post (yes, I’m still bitter about the fact that I can only update once a week. I’m working through it.). It may be rambling, nonsensical, even *gasp* boring (perish the thought!), but I think it is what my current mental state is asking of me. Bear with me. Or jump ship. Your call.
Last fall, something happened. Something I have avoided mentioning in any kind of detail not just in this blog, but just in daily life. For other reasons, I’m still not completely comfortable with stating explicitly what; but for now, I will say that I fell apart. And by ‘I’, I am referring to everything that is encompassed by the pronoun – my physical and emotional stability, my memory, my work, my life. All of a sudden, I was no longer up to the task of being the perfect straight-A student with great friends and family and smile on her face. I was, if you can bear the overused teenage-angst-filled word, broken. My plan to go abroad to Italy was one of two reasons that I made it through the semester, and even then I was hardly what you could call ‘in one piece.’
Today, my email inbox informed me that it is closed because I have kept too many emails over the past 3 years. Well, since some days I spend 50% of my time emailing, this was a problem, and I entered into the ever-so-thrilling process of reading all my old emails and determining which ones were deletable.
Is there a quote about the ‘presentness’ of the past? Somewhere? There should be. Maybe I should make one.
Either way, I came across emails from last fall of conversations I had with my mother during this time. My family is [almost abnormally] supportive and they are, without a doubt, that second reason I made it through the semester.
These emails were…enlightening. I remembered the incredible, unbearable pain with each word I read, and it was hard to see myself as that tiny, hurting person again. This journey to the not-so-past past, however, was not for naught.
One of the biggest stress points was that constant dark cloud hanging over every college upperclassman’s head: the future. The word just sounds scary, doesn’t it? I was torn between three different paths.
I know what I want to do. I want to learn Hindi, and teach English as a
foreign language in another country. I want to learn more about nutrition
and help people with eating disorders. I want to study language and grammar
and all that crap that everyone else thinks is so boring. I want to go one
whole day without feeling stomach acid burning a hole in my esophagus and
making noise that I’m pretty sure [my roommate] can hear sitting over at her desk.
I want to go one day without feeling like I could drop dead from exhaustion.
I want to stop basing my own opinions on what everyone else thinks. But not
a single one of these things seems even remotely possible.
Sound familiar? You were probably a confused college kid too, once. But this went beyond just a fear of life outside the campus bubble. I didn’t understand what it meant to live anymore. I was grasping not for a career or a goal to achieve, but for a purpose. A voice that said “you are needed; don’t give up.” I was desperate; but it felt like I was dying.
Enter my very own deus ex machina (Google it): my mother. In the response to my virtual cry for help, she said:
“No one gets to live the perfect life. You just get to live the life you get.”
(Little did she know, I’d be immortalizing her words only a year later on the world wide web. You’re welcome, Mom.)
I don’t remember a lot from last fall; it’s still a little raw for me. But I know this email had an impact because just rereading those words was like a ton of bricks on my head – and I mean that in the best possible way. That purpose I was looking so hard for? Where most important things tend to be: right in front of my nose.
What is life if not a span of time given to you – to us – to me, in order to discover that purpose. Destiny, fate, *insert lofty abstract concept here*. [And yes, I just tried to define life – roll with me, I’ve been discussing too many abstract literary theories to count recently.]
I’m the first to admit that senioritis is most definitely setting in. I now sit in my Survey of American Literature I class, diligently taking notes on the significance of Puritan sermons and the attitude towards the natives with my 1000-page anthology open on the desk, and all I can think is, “why am I here.” I could be reading about M.F.K. Fisher, doing yoga, or….researching M.F.K. Fisher (I love my thesis topic but it’s taking over my life), but instead I am in an hour-and-a-half class discussing works which in other real-life circumstances you couldn’t pay me to read, much less analyze the crap out of. But I have to go back to that perhaps unintentionally sage advice – I only get to live the life I get. And if Puritanical literature and endless hours of research are a part of it right now, then I better accept it fast so I can just do it. Because this semester – this 3-month period of time – isn’t much compared to what is waiting for me.

At some point in the near future, I will reread this post and say, “what the hell was I talking about. My life involves burying my head in a book or screaming at the New York Times archives because it won’t let me view an article I paid 4 dollars to view. How can I just “accept” this???….I was definitely PMSing.” Well, that’s okay too. But I will get through it. And I will move on. And I will not be broken at the end. In fact, I’ll probably be stronger. What doesn’t kill you, right?
Enough of these musings. I have to go annotate chapter 3 of my chemistry textbook. Joy of joys.
…What? I said I’d accept it. I didn’t say I’d do it with a smile.
~Namaste~